Match Your Diet with Your Medicine

      May 02, 2009 08:27

      People taking medicines are advised to carefully read the drugs' ingredients to ensure they are compatible with their diets. Even reputed medicines, if taken with incompatible foods, can cause unexpected side-effects, in addition to failing to work as prescribed. Following is a description of which common foods you should avoid when taking certain medicines.

      ◆ Antibiotics ≠ Milk, Liquor and Coffee

      Antibiotics for bacterial infections are incompatible with milk, liquor and coffee. Antibiotics containing quinolone and tetracyclines, if taken with milk, dairy products, antacid agents and ferrous vitamins, lose their effectiveness because the ingredients are instantly excreted without being absorbed into the body. These foods should be taken two hours after swallowing antibiotics.

      It's better to avoid taking antibiotics with caffeine-containing foods, like coffee, cola, green tea and chocolate, because caffeine excretion is constrained and may cause severe heart palpitations, sensitive nerves and insomnia. Antibiotics with metronidazole elements are incompatible with liquor. If you drink alcohol while taking these medicines, you may vomit or suffer stomach convulsions, headaches and hot flushes. Accordingly, you have to avoid alcohol for at least three days when taking these antibiotics.        

      ◆ Analgesics ≠ Liquor and Coffee

      Analgesics to treat fevers, like Tylenol, are also incompatible with liquor. Since those medicines can cause liver damage and intestinal gastric hemorrhage, the danger of such side effects can increase for heavy drinkers. And since food delays the absorption of medicines, they should be taken on an empty stomach to be effective. Anti-inflammatory sedatives, like aspirin, may stimulate the stomach; it is better to take them with food or milk. Also, it is not advisable to take compound sedatives containing caffeine with caffeinated drinks, because this will increase your caffeine intake, possibly causing heart palpitations and unsteadiness.

      ◆ Stomach Medicines ≠ Orange Juice and Chocolate

      Stomach medicines used to combat indigestion are incompatible with caffeine and orange juice. Avoid taking antihistamines to decrease gastric acid together with coffee, cola, tea and chocolate, because they may aggravate stomach inflammation due to the caffeine contained in those drinks. Alcoholic beverages should also be avoided, as they may worsen stomach inflammation. Fruit juices and cola also must be avoided, as they decrease medicine's efficacy by heightening stomach acidity.      

      In addition, medicines for constipation are incompatible with milk. These drugs affect the large intestine and are coated lest they should be dissolved in stomach acids. Because alkaline milk neutralizes stomach acids, it melts the coating of constipation medicines before they have a chance to work. With their efficacy decreased, side effects like stomachache and cramps may occur. If you have drunk milk, it is better to take constipation medicines an hour later. 

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